Another one bits the dust…

Some really sad news about an architecture firm.  But it is not just any architecture firm, it was one  of the best, winning many awards, attracting top talent, with a huge portfolio of diversified projects.  Murray O’Laoire, or MOLA as it was often known as, states on its website:

“We employ almost 200 staff across a wide range of disciplines from architects and architectural technologists to planners, urban designers, interior designers and landscape architects.

MÓLA’s mission is to make good architecture.”

No more.

The last news update on their website informs:

We regret to inform you that at a meeting of the creditors of Murray O’Laoire Architects on the 9th April 2010, the company was placed into creditors liquidation….

This is a real loss. Architecture firms are quite delicate–they depend on growth, they are small and their exposure to liability is quite high.  What’s more, their value as cultural actors far outweighs the economic value that they manifest.  If society values Art and the public realm, someone needs to do some fast thinking and even faster acting to save what are irreplaceable cultural agents.  Certainly, any one given firm can fail, but what is happening now is a whole sale slaughtering of architectural firms, and it won’t be good for anyone if these firms a dispersed and their collective memory erased.  In the USA alone over 40,000 architects are out of work since the beginning of the financial Crises, and it doesn’t look like it is going to get better any time soon.

Here’s a couple of pictures of some of their best work.  Their work on the Irish Pavilion at the Hanover Fair 2000 shows a wonderful sense of contrast and deep use of materials, full of cultural references as well as wonderful integration of Art, and just a intrinsic sense of craftsmanship and and excellent sense of proportion, all executed extremely well:

http://www.murrayolaoire.com/civic/projects/expo2000/index.html

Cork School of Music:

http://www.murrayolaoire.com/education/projects/csm/index.html

[In the interests of Full Disclosure, yes, eee_eff is an Architect, and he is very fortunate to be very actively working, but knows many who are not so lucky…]

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Another one bits the dust…

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